Michigan representative proposes bill requiring gun owners to safely store their weapons

CNN Poll: Seven in 10 favor tighter gun laws in wake of Parkland shooting
Posted at 11:05 AM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 11:05:18-05

(WXYZ) — The mass shooting at Oxford High School has local lawmakers pushing for change.

Michigan representative Elissa Slotkin plans to propose the safe guns, safe kids act. That's much more likely to happen if it gets bipartisan support.

Lawmakers have tried to pass similar legislation in the past and failed. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin hopes this time will be different.

“It's a child safety issue, it’s not a second amendment issue,” Slotkin said.

Representative Slotkin says she comes from a gun-owning family and she believes in the right to bear arms.

But currently, the federal law doesn't require a gun owner to safely store their weapon and Slotkin thinks that's irresponsible.

“If a child in your home gets access to a weapon because you weren't securing it, they go out they hurt someone they hurt themselves or they commit a crime. You can now be criminally liable and have up to 5 years in prison,” she said.

The shooting at Oxford High School happened in Slotkin's district and according to the Oakland County prosecutor, the boy responsible used an unlocked gun to shoot his teacher and 10 of his classmates.

Four of those classmates will never see their families again.

“We could've had a chance," State Representative Felicia Brabec said. "It might not have stopped it, but we might have had a chance if those safe storage rules were in place.”

State Representative Felicia Brabec already tried to propose a similar safe storage bill but it did not gain traction in Lansing.

“My hope is that my Republican colleagues across the aisle, we can work together to be able to pass this legislation,” Brabec said.

Former lawmaker and Macomb County prosecutor Peter Lucido thinks safe storage laws are a step too far. He says enough laws exist to hold people accountable including the shooter’s parents James and Jennifer Crumbley. Each are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Slotkin also says this law is meant to prevent accidental shootings and child suicides, not just criminal acts.

If this law passes it would call for gun owners who do not properly secure their weapons to face up to five years in prison if a child gets a gun and injures themselves or others.